A New Direction has begun a new piece of research which applies ecological concepts to understand creative and cultural ecosystems, and how they can be nurtured for the future benefit of children and young people. They have been doing research into equality of access to cultural opportunities in a changing and varied city, and realised that they needed to learn more about the networks and complex interactions that lead to cultural engagement. They wanted to go beyond a straightforward or geographical mapping of assets, to more deeply consider the role that culture plays in the lived experience of children and young people. Some of the concepts they are looking at include interconnection, webs and networks, regeneration, symbiosis, and fragility and strength.
To kick off the exploration, they invited John Holden to write a paper (which you can download from the link above) in which he argues that young people are equal partners in the making of contemporary culture and should not be seen as passive recipients of a cultural education. They don’t do this in a vacuum though, as they need contact with Guardians, Connectors and Platforms. He proposes an ideal outcome of Cultural Wellbeing for CYP, which incorporates cultural understanding, critical agency, and being creators for themselves.
One of the related infographics asks, is there such a things as cultural evolution, and if so what role do young people play in it? One might argue that humanity is at a critical point where an evolutionary shift in our values and behaviours towards each other and the planet is necessary, so this question of cultural evolution is very relevant to Future Views.
AND have published three short responses, and invite more from others.
Maybe our research into future trends, technologies and challenges can form a response to this too? How can thinking about the future help cultural education partnerships nurture a cultural ecosystem that will be resilient for an uncertain future?